Updated:
Original:

"Serial plagiarist" leaves Minnesota newspaper; publisher apologizes

Weekly humor columns that appeared under Jon Flatland's name in the Blooming Prairie Times were apparently swiped from a host of other columnists and bloggers. The paper's publisher apologized to readers for the plagiarism that seems to date back through many years of Flatland's newspaper career.
Author:

The Blooming Prairie Times was apparently the final stop in Jon Flatland's newspaper career. The paper's managing editor slipped out of town when confronted with evidence of plagiarism. And we're not talking about lifting a couple sentences. According to the Poynter Institute, a journalism ethics group, plagiarism was a pattern through his long career as a North Dakota journalist.

One of Flatland's harshest critics is his former employer, publisher Rick Bussler. Bussler apologized to readers, saying Flatland had disgraced the Times, Blooming Prairie, and the newspaper industry by putting out a weekly humor column that contained virtually no original material.

Contacted by the Associated Press, Flatland conceded he apparently did plagiarize "but not to the extent they're saying." The 47-year-old Flatland says he's definitely out of the newspaper business and doesn't know what he'll do next.

Flatland took his material from writers ranging from bloggers to columnists with major dailies. It was one of those writers, Singapore-based humorist Dave Fox, who discovered the plagiarism and alerted other victims.

Next Up

FLickr - USFWS Midwest - white-tailed deer

CWD-positive farm in WI had shipped deer to 2 MN farms, DNR says

The Minnesota DNR's commissioner called the discovery "deeply concerning."

Dr Scott Jensen health freedom conference Sept 25 2021 screengrab

Dr. Scott Jensen continues to tout unproven ivermectin as treatment for COVID

The gubernatorial candidate suggested skeptics "get some worms and have them creep out of your anus."

west st paul menards robbery suspect - crop

Twin Cities Menards worker opens store, finds armed man demanding cash

The suspect was already in the store when the employee got there at 4:30 a.m.

Kirk Cousins

Buy or sell the Minnesota Vikings as a true contender?

The schedule is daunting, but the Vikings have a chance to show the world that they're the real deal.

Pixabay - footballs stock

School board won't comment on 'police investigation' involving football team

The Proctor School Board chair stated their policy during Monday's board meeting.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist killed on I-94 may have been braking for animal

The crash closed I-94 in Wisconsin for three hours.

curl mesabi curling club

Curling Olympic trials will be held on the Iron Range instead of California

Mixed doubles curling has been moved to Minnesota over COVID-19 concerns.

sun country landline

Sun Country to offer luxury car service to MSP Airport

It's Sun Country's new Door-to-Door service, in partnership with Landline.

st. paul homicide - 30 block of Winnipeg Avenue West

St. Paul man arrested after calling police to report he killed his wife

The man was outside the police station when he called 911.

rabbit

Highly contagious rabbit disease detected for first time in MN

Two indoor rabbits "died suddenly and inexplicably" from the disease earlier this month.

Salted Nut Roll

New seasonal varieties of the Salted Nut Roll have arrived

There will never be enough pumpkin spice to satisfy the world.

Related

Minnesota publisher named new president of National Newspaper Association

Reed Anfinson of the Swift County Monitor-News became president of the 2,300-member organization. Anfinson had served the past year as NNA vice president. He succeeds Elizabeth K. Parker of the Recorder Community Newspapers in N.J.

ECM Publishers buying Sun Newspapers and its 32 suburban weeklies

Coon Rapids-based ECM currently publishes fifteen newspapers in the Twin Cities suburbs but will more than double that with its purchase of Sun Newspapers. The Sun papers have a circulation of more than 350,000.

Hennepin County inmates publish poetry collection

After attending three creative writing workshops, a group of 95 Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility inmates have been introduced to the world of poetry publishing. The sessions resulted in a collection of prose titled "Poems from the Inside."

Serial Walgreen's robber arrested

Minneapolis Police say they have arrested Vincent Mark Smith. Smith allegedly robbed three metro area Walgreen's this month, approaching store employees with a gun.

Stop the presses ... Moose Lake newspaper ends publication

A small town newspaper in northern Minnesota has published its last edition, the Pine Journal reports. After 30 years in business, the Arrowhead Leader in Moose Lake, Minn., has abruptly closed its doors. Editor Lois Johnson says she was told the owner could no longer afford to publish the newspaper.

Minn. author makes big leap from self-publishing e-books to major publisher

After selling more than 1 million self-published e-books about trolls, vampires and murderous mermaids on her own, Austin native Amanda Hocking is finally releasing her first novel in print. Hocking is preparing to embark on a tour to promote her fantastical teen novel, "Wake," the first in a multi-book deal with publishing house St. Martin's Press.

Timberjay

Former city mayor, clerk charged in row with local newspaper publisher

Timberjay publisher Marshall Helmberger claims the city disliked his newspaper's critical reporting.

Bankrupt tannery in Minnesota leaves hundreds of hunters in legal limbo

More than 700 people who own thousands of animal hides have found themselves in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. The Pioneer Press reports the century-old Uber Tanning Co. in Owatonna is no longer in business after the owners, Jared Rinerson and his wife, Shawna, walked away from the operation this summer and filed for personal bankruptcy in August. "We ran out of money," Rinerson told the newspaper. It's unclear if or when customers will get their hides back.